“youth unemployment at 39pc in Spain, 31pc in Lithuania, 28pc in Latvia, 26pc in Ireland and Slovakia, 25pc in Italy and Hungary, 24pc in France.” — Well, at least the U.S. isn’t alone in our 26% youth unemployment rate. But the same comments I made in my previous post apply to Europe too. A lack of entry-level jobs for young people and/or a lack of young people willing to settle for entry-level as their first job (and I don’t know how much that is a problem in each country, but I’ll bet it’s a significant problem in at least some countries including ours) is not good. People with steady jobs and money in the bank tend to be a lot more settled than those with a lot of time on their hands and no job or savings to lose if they do get into trouble.
“The result in Ireland shows that Europe’s usurpers have succeeded“, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph.co.uk, October 4 2009 (article accessed October 5, 2009)
Actually, Evans-Pritchard was talking more about how Irish voters had just voted to accept the Lisbon Treaty that will establish the European Union as a more centralized power.
And I would highly recommend the article for anyone interested in current European politics, or interested in what happens when you have too many bureaucrats who are too difficult to fire:
“[The EU] cannot run Europe’s fisheries, farms, aid projects, and budget with a minimum of competence. Yet it presses for more and is willing to sell its political soul to get its way. “The EU seems blind to a central insight of liberal democratic thought – that the means of reaching public decisions are just as important as the ends,” says Oxford professor Larry Siedentop.
The means were to ignore the verdict of the French and Dutch people when they voted no to the original text in 2005, with half Europe waiting do exactly the same had Brussels not called off the kill for the sake of decency.
Common sense called for a halt then. But no, they tried to slip it through by parliamentary majorities in the House of Commons, Holland’s Tweede Kamer, Denmark’s Folketing, and France’s Chambre, with the specific and sole of purpose of denying citizens the chance to express their will, confirming what we long suspected – that the EU’s authoritarian habits are spreading to our national legislatures. Dublin alone was left grapple with its voters, obliged to do so by its Supreme Court. And when they too said no last year, the political classes refused to accept the verdict yet again.
It is worth remembering how this Lisbon monster came to life. It was supposed to be the answer to the Danish and Swedish no votes to EMU, the Irish no to Nice, and anti-EU riots that set Gothenburg in flames.
Henceforth, there would be no more stitch-ups. The Laeken Declaration in 2001 acknowledged that the EU was seen by the peoples as “a threat to their identity”, that “deals are all too often cut out of their sight”, that there was no appetite for “a European superstate or European institutions inveigling their way into every nook and cranny of life.” It spoke of returning powers to the member states. A convention – modelled on Philadelphia – would draw up an EU constitution to restore “democratic legitimacy”.
What then happened? The EU insiders hijacked the process. Dissident utterings were silenced in the working groups. A praesidium under super-elitist Valéry Giscard d’Estaing employed Commission lawyers to draft the wording. The final text called for an EU president, foreign minister, justice department, a supreme court with jurisdiction over all areas of EU policy for the first time, and fresh powers to enter yet more nooks and crannies – in other words, the apparatus of an aspirant state. And this how it remains in Lisbon disguise.
“The convention failed: it was a self-selected group of the European political elite,” said Gisela Stuart, Britain’s member on the praesidium. The experience was enough to turn her into fervent opponent of Lisbon.” “
The reference to youth unemployment was Evans-Pritchard commenting that while the EU bureaucrats seek nits to pick about the minutiae of what council will oversee what regulations of which industries, larger problems like really high youth unemployment are ignored. A lot of his previous columns have talked about the difference in government (and even personal) finances between the more austere northern European nations and the “Club Med” nations of Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Italy and how those differences are causing a lot of imbalances when the European Central Bank (ECB) is trying to set interest rates and currency pegs for the while region.